“It was as cold inside as it was outside for us today. We didn’t make many shots, we had open looks, we had…possessions, we couldn’t make layups, we didn’t finish to start the game and then throughout the game we got better but then there were some plays that we just didn’t finish. I thought DJ and Greg played well inside and again, it was a physical presence that we brought tonight and we haven’t had that in a while so I tell my team look, “We didn’t win in the W department but we won in the effort and the spirit and physical presence and progress” and that is what satisfies me but when we come in and we don’t get the W and we don’t get the effort and don’t see progress then that is a problem but no problem from me tonight with my team.
Q: What did you think about Corey’s performance?
A: He goes above and beyond the call of duty. He guards their best players, he is running the show, he is scoring, he keeps us organized, he finds people, gets us assists in the game so we haven’t had a freshman like that here in a long, long time. Tell me when the last time we had a freshman like that here?
Q: Quincy Douby about 10 years ago.
A: Ok so I think that is progress in that department in our program.
Q: How is Corey handling the minutes you are giving him?
A: I took him out. I wanted to give him a couple minutes and he was ready after one minute and I said, “Well just get another minute”. As long as I don’t see fatigue plays is what I call them just he looks like he is doing something but he just reaches and isn’t finishing his plays. As long as I don’t see fatigue plays --- cheating, gambling, not finishing a rotation, not boxing out but I haven’t seen that yet so he continues to do a lot of things for us on both ends.
Q: Eddie, nine three pointers for them and only three for you. Was the game won at the three point line?
A: Somewhat, I just thought that the game was --- we just couldn’t finish. We didn’t keep the pace and we had runs, they had runs and if you guys stand on the court with those guys you will see the true length and size of their players. They have great wingspan, great size throughout that five man unit that they have. Their point guard is 6’5 you know, when he stands next to Corey, Corey looks like he is a midget and that is how if you look at every position and each position is taller than we are. Every position is much taller, longer, more athletic but if we matched up with our normal team, any normal team they are big frankly so that is why we had to fight tonight but again, we brought a physical presence tonight that we hadn’t had in a long time and that was an emphasis. We have got to fight in the post, we have to box out, we have to take their deep post ups away, we have to get through screens and we just didn’t handle #15 --- didn’t handle his coming off of screens very well at first and then we adjusted and got some good stops but our half court defense was solid, really solid even though they shot 50%.
Q: How frustrating was it that you couldn’t get that one stop late in the game?
A: When you look at the game when we close out on a 6’9, 6’8 shooter who has got long arms and we are closing out on him and he has a good look at the basket and he is a good shooter anyway that is not indicative of us not defending. We are out --- Mike Williams, Omari Grier, Bishop Daniels, Corey Sanders they close out on a 6’8 shooter and he is right there and if it was you shooting we would block your shot but a guy like that you don’t really bother his shot so that 50% or that 51% that you reminded me is not a big problem for me. Our defense was solid getting through screens, being physical and we trusted and we were responsible for the system that we put in so a lot of things that normal people don’t see, we were really good at.
Q: I think Lyle went for a triple double last time about a month ago against you guys. What did you do to kind of limit him?
A: He is a good player and he just took what he saw against us last time. We played some more zone last time, this time we locked down man to man and we had a feel for what he was. He was a big penetrator and he got a lot of that assist, scoring in transition there and we kind of stopped that tonight.